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Horror/Scary: December 19, 2018 Issue [#9287]

 This week: Horror: Fiction, nonfiction, or both?
  Edited by: Angus
                             More Newsletters By This Editor  

Table of Contents

1. About this Newsletter
2. A Word from our Sponsor
3. Letter from the Editor
4. Editor's Picks
5. A Word from Writing.Com
6. Ask & Answer
7. Removal instructions

About This Newsletter

“Holy men tell us life is a mystery. They embrace that concept happily. But some mysteries bite and bark and come to get you in the dark.”
~The Book of Counted Sorrows~

Word from our sponsor

Letter from the editor

I’m probably opening up a can of worms here, but hey, let’s go with it.

I spend a lot of time in the library because I’m too cheap/broke to buy Internet service when I can just walk a few blocks and get online for free. I also read a lot, and I love looking for new or old authors I haven’t read before. So while I really was perusing through the D-H aisle the other day on a random search for something that might pique my interest (and I’ve found quite a few!), this question also donned on me: why do they have horror usually classified as fiction?

OK. I’ll admit not all horror is in the fiction section. And I know all libraries have sections dedicated to authors categorized alphabetically. But there’s so many genres of books anymore that it’s getting almost impossible to find what you’re looking for, especially when you’re looking for horror.

Fiction? Science Fiction? Non-Fiction? Fantasy? Drama? Thriller? Western? Romance? Young Adult? Heck, I’ve even found horror mixed with comedy, but that’s a very thin line to walk, and not many can do it without falling flat on their faces (although Joe R. Lansdale has managed to mix Western, Comedy, and Horror together in many of his twisted tales).

Yeah, I’m letting a little steam off here, but when I’m in our library searching for a particular book and have to go from the 1st floor to the 2nd floor to the 1st floor to the 2nd floor and finally back to the 1st floor to ask the people behind the desk—and this is all after looking through their new, computerized, updated card catalog on the 1st floor—and they can’t even find what I’m looking for, my ire tends to rise.

But hold on. I’m not putting libraries down! Truth is, I’d fight harder than fireman Guy Montag did after his ‘revelation’ in Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451! Libraries are our greatest community resource, right behind Writing.Com. But somebody opened a can of worms, and now they’re crawling all over the library.

Many great authors can write in different genres, and if they can do that successfully, they have my utmost respect. But I know of a few well known authors who started out writing in a totally different genre, only to find out their real forte was horror. Even a couple of authors here on WdC have mentioned this same thing happened to them.

I’m going a little off track, but please be patient.

My point is that is horror isn’t just monsters or snakes or things that go bump in the night, as I’m sure you already know. We can open up our newspapers and read about real life horrors happening every day. Sadly, truth really is stranger than fiction, and in this day and age, it can also be just as horrific, if not more so.

Some of you probably know I run "Weekly SCREAMS!!! with the best judges I could ever ask for. Six days a week (Wednesdays are 2 day/2,000 word contests) one of us has to come up with original prompts. That’s not easy; many of those prompts are some of the lamest, mundane, ridiculous things you could possibly imagine to write something dealing with horror. But some of those prompts have inspired some of the best stories I’ve ever read! And some of them have even gone on to be published!

My grandmothers were born in 1899 and 1916, my father in 1922, and my mother in 1929. One of the only few horrors they could imagine at that time was something Mary Shelley had written 100 years earlier about a mad doctor putting parts of dead bodies together so he could create life after death. (And in case you’re wondering, I was born in 1965).

And I guess that’s how I’m trying to tie this all together.

Horror can be anything you want it to be, from a simple bread crumb to the Easter Bunny!

Is it fiction, or is it nonfiction?

Or maybe it’s just some weird word like "Weeeeeen! that you made up in your head. *Wink*


Goliath With A Santa Hat On

Editor's Picks

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#2176240 by Not Available.

Winter's Call  (ASR)
Do trees feel pain?
#908096 by Robert Waltz

 Invalid Item 
This item number is not valid.
#2143638 by Not Available.

 Invalid Item 
This item number is not valid.
#2169382 by Not Available.

 Invalid Item 
This item number is not valid.
#2176026 by Not Available.

Hazmat  (18+)
It's worse if they live. 2018 Quill Winner, Best Science Fiction.
#2150101 by Jayne

Indulgence  (E)
"The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak."
#2174637 by L.A. Grawitch

 Invalid Item 
This item number is not valid.
#2061790 by Not Available.

 Invalid Item 
This item number is not valid.
#2105645 by Not Available.

The Littlest Angel  (18+)
A short horror story written for a prompt. . .
#2097207 by Weirdone-Back in the games

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Word from Writing.Com

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Ask & Answer

New Question:
Who or what is your favorite horror character or icon?

Many of you replied to my previous (and first) Horror/Scary Newsletter on September 26th, and I can’t thank you enough! You folks are amazing!
Some of those movies I’ve never even heard of, but I’m definitely putting them at the top of my Must See List!

The question was:
Did you/do you have a movie that gave you nightmares? What was it? Do you still have nightmares?

Hey, thanks for the shout out! I agree about psych horror being one of the things that can really get under a reader's (or viewer's) skin. It's funny that you talked about the way early impressions of horror films affect the way you write - the poem I wrote is because I am absolutely terrified of any creepy song in movies being sung by kids (one, two, Freddy's coming for you...*shiver*). I think my first SK book was The Tommyknockers, and I can still do that little rhyme too. It always seems to come back to me at the most inconvenient times, too...like when I'm alone. In the bush. At dusk. I've seen and read lots of BG&G and no matter how gross it is, unless there's a good psych element to it, it's just gross, not scary. It's even better when you don't pick up that it's getting to you :)

Two on a Guillotine

Elfin Dragon-finally published
There are two movies that I remember most that still give me the heebie-jeebies. The first is always Hitchcock's The Birds. It still freaks me out when I see a large flock of birds. The other is the original movie The Blob. I get creeps from Jello because of it.

Lilli ☕️ 🧿
Awesome newsletter, Angus!!!
With regard to your questions:
Did you/do you have a movie that gave you nightmares? What was it? Do you still have nightmares?
I really don't recall a movie giving me nightmares. Books have, but not movies.
Kindest Regards, Lilli

I'm not a bg&g because they seem to rely on CG rather than a storyline. I'm told it's the same as Adult sex movies. Who wants that? What constitutes good stories are the setting, character arc and what you can create in the reader's mind. Shutter Island is a movie I can't watch all the way through. His trip to Block C is too terrifying for me even though I know what is going to happen. That in itself scares me and I close my eyes. The story is what grabs me. It was the twist at the end that confused me and had me rewatching it to see what I'd missed in the set up at the beginning. I hadn't watched and paid close enough attention.
Writing scare has to be as simple as setting the story so the reader/watcher, mentally screams, "Don't do that, go in there, go down the steps!" We know they are even though we resist. It's the storyline of what happens next. Is the action worth the build up? If not you'd better start over.

Welcome to the staff Angus! Nice newsletter, with scary stuff you don't see until it grabs you. My nightmares are fodder for my stories. I can't say there was a movie that prompted them, because my dreams are like a movie. The worst is those pesky reoccurring dreams. Yeah, they scare the hell out of me. Always the same, always when I least expect them, then BAM, nightmare.

The movie that did that for me was The Skull with Peter Cushing. We had a fireplace in the house we lived that had a glass screen over it. After watching that movie I slept in the living room with the fire going. I woke up in the middle of the night. The fire had gone out and I was sure I saw a skull behind the glass. Needless to say I didn't sleep the rest of the night!

Warped Sanity
Awesome first newsletter, Angus!

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